“A good listener is not only popular everywhere but after a while he gets to know something.” 

                Wilson Mizner


Sonoma County GOP Presidential Poll

On Saturday, August 26th the Sonoma County Republican Party held a straw poll of the 14 declared Republican candidates for the President of the United States. It was held during the 2023 Sonoma County GOP Convention. Here are the results:


Trump 80%
DeSantis 11%
Hailey   5%
Ramaswamy   4%

Tax Wars

The battle for property tax fairness has raged for many years in California.  Homeowners had a victory in 1978 when Proposition 13 was passed.  Proposition 13 limited property taxes on homeowners.  Prior to 1978 many homeowners in California lost their homes because they could not afford the property taxes which continued to increase beyond the property owner’s ability to pay.  Groups in California such as public employee unions are constantly dueling with anti-tax groups such as the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.                                                                                     Next year’s ballot will probably include another aspect of the tax war.  A measure sponsored by the California Business Roundtable and other anti-tax groups would require any new state or local tax to be approved by voters. This measure would counteract the state Supreme Court’s 2020 refusal to overturn an appellate court ruling declaring that citizens’ initiative tax proposals do not have to meet the two-thirds vote requirement that local government ballot measures face.                                                                                    It has been assumed for many years that the two-thirds vote applied to all special tax measures.  In 2017, a 5-2 majority opinion in the state supreme court declared: “Multiple provisions of the state constitution explicitly constrain the power of local governments to raise taxes.  But we will not lightly apply such restrictions on local governments to voter initiatives.”                                                           The decision touched off a flurry of cases which culminated in the Supreme Court’s refusal in 2020 to overturn an appellate court’s flat declaration that local taxes placed before voters via initiative needed only simple majority approval.                                                                                                                  Since the state Supreme Court opened the door to easier passage of local tax increase initiatives pro-tax forces have shifted to going to court.

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